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Mainstreet Radio Special: Mining
Midday broadcast from the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center
 Hosted by Rachel Reabe
Monday, October 16, 2000: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT

Listen to the archived broadcast in RealAudio:

Hour One
Hour Two
About Mainstreet
Mainstreet Radio started in 1987 with the mission of reporting from rural Minnesota to all of Minnesota. Each month, Mainstreet Radio presents a two-hour special focusing on rural issues.
Go to Mainstreet Radio
The History of Mining Listen to Part One
By 1865, when gold fever was sweeping the country, gold was discovered on Lake Vermillion's Pike Bay. The news made newspapers across the country and 2,000 anxious gold miners converged in northeastern Minnesota. The excitement was short lived but did lead to discovery of pure iron ore deposits in the area.

In l892 the first iron ore mine was operating in the area. Twenty years later, lll mines were operating on the Mesabi Iron Range and 90,000 people lived in mining towns across the region. Dominated by Finns, Croatians and Slovenian-Austrians, there were also Swedes, Norwegians, Serbs, Italians, Belgians, Chinese and Arab workers among others. Most planned to be in the country only long enough to strike it rich before returning home but ended up staying on the Iron Range. The great Mesabi Iron Range was known worldwide for its rich iron ore deposits and attracted international skilled and unskilled labor.

Marvin Lamppa,  college history professor and Iron Range historian.
Ed Nelson,  archivist at the Iron Range Research Center
The Future of Mining Listen to Part Two
For 100 years, Minnesota's mineral deposits have fueled one of the state's dominant industries. Despite its roller-coaster history, industry officials say future prospects remain bright based on available natural resources. At current rates, iron mining operations could continue for over 200 years before running out of ore, according to industry officials. However, Minnesota mining operations face major challenges. Rising production costs, increased foreign competition and declining markets for taconite pellets are causes for concern.

Meanwhile, interest is growing in Minnesota's non-ferrous minerals including copper-nickel, platinum, palladium and rhodium. At least four companies are currently exploring mineral deposits others are actively pursuing mineral leases. Our panel will discuss future prospects for iron ore mining as well as non-ferrous minerals.

John Swift,  commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board
Ann Glumac, president of the Iron Mining Association
Ernest Lehmann, president, Minnesota Exploration Association
Donald Gentry, president, PolyMet Mining Corp.
Made possible  by a  grant from  the Blandin  Foundation
Made possible by a grant from the Blandin Foundation
Background from MPR News
After the Mines
December, 1999 Read 

The LTV Mine Closing
May 24, 2000 Read - Listen

A Shortage of Stone
January 26, 2000 Read

A Minnesota Century: Mining the North
May 1999 Read - Listen

Related Links
Iron Mining Association of Minnesota


Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board

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